11.06.2014 - 11.30.2014
The artist’s fascination began with a series of photographs taken from an airplane. The obscure white landscape of Antarctica, vast and previously indecipherable, was once an unreadable expanse. Before the development of trimetrogon aerial photography, there was no way to map the forbidding panorama, since the cartographic traditions of other continents could not apply to the immeasurable exceptions of Antarctica. Lui Medina’s self-titled exhibition was partially provoked by this unprecedented act of observation. How do you make sense of something so immense and seemingly devoid of landmarks? How do you cope with a setting to which previously effective methods of mapping cannot apply? In this sense, Medina’s latest ArtInformal show continues her intriguing, ongoing critique on the act of looking. Here, we witness her unearthing her own process, finding the geographical frictions, layers, and potentialities of several forms. Her partial answer: Move away from old traditions and interrogate the method by which you perceive and introduce a new framework entirely.
As in her previous exhibitions ASCENT and METAMORPHIC HISTORIES, Medina explores the tensions of space that arise between freestanding objects, wall-bound paintings, and the viewer. Utilizing precision and abstraction alike, the artist offers multiple points of entry into new ways of seeing. The objects offer the prismic sense of the Dymaxion map, the first cartographic record that proved the world connected by oceans, all of earth’s continents inextricably linked. With graphite, oil, and metal leaf on wood, these twin polyhedrons offer new, kinetic cloudscapes for open exploration, inviting us to make our own connections. A pair of quartz geodes anchor two pencil drawings. By using seemingly mundane stones and graphite on paper, Medina gives us a sense of the dynamism and growth present in even the most inscrutable, subterranean locales. On wooden platforms, these objects and drawings arise from the artist’s continuing captivation with geological potentialities, with all of the layering and excavation that takes place in what was previously unseen.
The paintings offer the viewer a similarly dynamic critique of form. Medina offers us new topographical landscapes, using oil painting as a way of rendering sculptures. We might feel we are gazing into a body of water, or a mirror, engaging a reflexive sense of observation. Perhaps we too are aerial, absorbing a once-unreadable landscape, bringing new eyes to visions that give our questioning no single, clear answer. The inquiry itself—the act of making—becomes its own instinctive answer.
By Laurel Fantauzzo
11.06.2014 - 11.30.2014
Culture has been long understood as being part of an economy in producing material goods and services, as well as social relations. Consumer goods have also always been reflective of the social fabric of a community or society. This November at Artinformal, Mervy Pueblo creates a situation with appropriated local material goods, to address identity politics through humour in her solo exhibition entitled Fearless.
Fearless is a response to the contemporary social concern wherein the “Filipino-ness” in the everyday life of a Filipino is often demanded to be justified. In this exhibit, Filipino-ness is subversively exoticized, objectified, and commercialized in an attempt to pose questions such as: What is Filipino? Do rationalizing our racial differences ignite tropes of separatism, and/or otherness? Does it make sense to define the origins of our cultural identity today? To whom should we justify our Filipino-ness, and why?
A collection of items obtained from the local underground economy is representative of general domestic beliefs and fears. The artist recontextualizes them as metaphor to the fear of being “un-Filipino”. Fearless repacks these concerns to create dialogues and allow the audience to rethink the anatomy of the world, or at least their own political consciousness.
11.06.2014 - 11.30.2014
How do we carry weight? The ones laid on us, the ones we lay on ourselves,
the sheer drag of our feet on the floor, our very own body. It is gravity that holds us down but we move forward. We rebel. We just can’t afford not to. It is not a question of why and how.
It is just a matter of being – an acceptance of our surrender to the universe and its flawed workings.
And, we look for others like ourselves, others wanting a connection, others reaching out. We hope our pieces meet with theirs, even though more often, they do not. When they don’t, we get caught up
reflecting on what is missing and forget what we had built so far.
But even then, as our faculties seem to be slipping out of our hands, we continue to toil. We just have to. We are works in progress after all. In the misalignment we must begin to look away from the straight line, beyond one single point, and see what is above and under, across and sideways. It is as much in the lacking as it is in what is present that we see meaning. This defines our own substance, our charge, our gravitas.
- Pancho Villanueva